The Renaissance Collaborative Inc. (TRC)
Christopher Watts, Employment and Education Manager
3757 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60653
LaTrina Shepherd Communication Consultant
Not every job requires a four-year degree
How apprenticeships and vocational training can help narrow the wealth gap.
Red Flags to Watch Out For During a Job Interview
Written by Alan Carniol
Look for these red flags to avoid making a bad career move.
When the goal is a job interview, applicants should evaluate their potential employers. No one is ever required to accept a job offer. If you think there are potential deal breakers, feel free to decline the offer professionally.
Here are some of the most common red flags to watch out for during a job interview:
Most people don’t want to work in a company where employees are rude to each other. Take some time to evaluate how employees interact. Do they enjoy working with each other? Is the level of respect clear?
Rude Prospective Boss
Fully prepare for the interview so that you can think clearly. Evaluate if the interviewer is responding well to your answers. If the interviewer is distracted while talking to you, it’s probably best to look for a different job opportunity.
They Seem Unethical
Study the body language and other subtle cues of your interviewer and other employees. How friendly are they with each other? If you see negative or uncomfortable interactions between employees, you may want to think carefully before accepting the job offer.
Vague Job Description
If you think the job description is too vague, feel free to ask specific questions during the interview. It is important to know the scope of the job you are applying for. In some cases, people find out the job they’ve accepted bears little resemblance to the description. This is important, because entering a workplace like this where roles are unclear can stall your career progress.
Keep in mind that job interviews should provide answers to your questions. If the interview leaves you with more questions, consider looking for a different company that better matches your expectations.
They Don’t Value Your Time
If a company makes you wait to start the interview without providing any reason why, this is a sign that they don’t respect you and your time. A company should understand that everyone’s time is valuable. If you run into this or any other potential deal breakers, feel free to politely and professionally decline a job offer.
How to Job Hunt Like a Pro
Written by Alan Carniol (Interview Success Formula)
Get their attention and stand out from the rest. These job search practices can help you increase your chances of getting hired:
1. Set up your voicemail greeting. Personalize your voicemail to help HR professionals know they’ve reached the right person. Use a friendly, professional greeting that includes your name.
2. Create a business card. Consider investing in business cards. They make sharing your contact information easy. (And a business card is more professional than writing your info down on a napkin.)
It’s also easier to network with business cards on hand. You can use an all-purpose business card with your name, contact number, email address and LinkedIn profile URL. You may want to use a broader occupational title instead of a specific job title (unless your skills and knowledge are in a very specific niche).
3. Coach your references. After you’ve asked your colleagues or mentors to be references, remember to stay in touch with them, especially when you’re in the final stages of the interview process.
You can give them a heads-up by sending them an email that details the job posting. Include all the skills the job requires, as well as the job description. Your references will appreciate your effort and professionalism.
4. Respond to inquiries as soon as possible. Reply to emails quickly and prove that you’re responsible enough to send a message back. Responding with a short acknowledgement email is better than not getting a reply at all.
5. Follow up with a thank-you note. After a networking exchange, send a thank-you note in appreciation of the person’s effort to meet with you. (This is important, especially if the person went out of his or her way just to meet you.) Thank-you notes at any point in a job search are a great way to express your gratitude.
6. Update your network. After getting a job, don’t forget to close the loop with all the contacts you’ve made during your job search process. Thank them for their assistance and keep in touch with them, especially if they need help. Doing this will build strong relationships as you continue to reach your career goals.
Job hunting is competitive, and the smallest kind and professional gestures can make a big difference in your search.
Top 4 Skills You Need to Stand Out as the Best Candidate
When it comes to job hiring, recruiters are looking for candidates who can give them the answer to the question “why should you get hired?” This means that they are looking for a set of skills that makes a candidate standout. In an ever competitive job market, it’s definitely important that you don’t just get noticed. It’s more crucial that you stand out.
Do you possess the skills that hiring managers and recruiters are looking for? Do you have what it takes to stand out as the best candidate for the job? Read on and learn what other skills are needed to ace that interview and land your dream career!
Regardless of the industry or nature of the job, your skills in communication is one of the things that companies and hiring managers will be looking at. Needless to say, employers need employees who can easily understand what is expected of them. They should also be able to express themselves clearly as this will help ensure their job productivity.
There may also be times when you would be required to speak to clients in written or spoken language. So before you start applying for jobs, be sure to polish your communication skills.
Abilities like problem-solving is another one of the important job skills recruiters want to see on their candidates’ resumes. They’re looking for jobseekers who can troubleshoot and solve problems independently.
Besides indicating this in your resume, be sure to highlight this skill during your interview by citing an example from your previous jobs where you’ve been able to exhibit problem solving skills. Recall a time when you’ve identified a problem and devised a solution that resolved the issue.
No matter the size of the company, you will always have to deal and work with people. This is where the skill as a team player comes in. Even if you are the only one assigned in a specific task or role, you’ll still have to deal with others in one way or another. Your ability to work well with others can help ease the tackling of the workload and responsibilities. You will also have to learn how to take instructions from others.
Therefore, when applying for a job, it’s imperative that hiring managers see that you can efficiently work with other employees as this will impact the overall productivity of the company.
Whether or not you’re applying for a leadership position, it’s going to impress the hiring managers if you can exhibit skills of a leader. Leadership skills does not only apply to when you have subordinates reporting to you because even if you’re just an ordinary employee, there are several ways to exemplify what it means to be a leader.
The mere fact that you’re able to set a good example in getting things done before the deadline or being able to inspire or influence others to do better at their jobs is already a perfect embodiment leadership skills.
5 Signs of Job Burnout You Should Know about
Written by Alan Carniol
Whether or not your job is allowing you to do something you love or something you’re passionate about, too much of anything is bad enough. What does this mean? This means that even if you don’t have any complaints at what you do because it gives you fulfilment and satisfaction, overdoing it can be detrimental to your health and it can make you prone to the so-called job burnout.
So, what exactly is a job burnout? Job burnout is a result of work-related stress and exhaustion. It’s when one feels so overwhelmed with workload that they tend to feel a loss of personal identity and reduced accomplishment. And because it’s not a medical diagnosis, it’s somewhat challenging to tell if certain symptoms are related to it. So how do you know if you’re suffering from a job or work burnout? Here are some signs to watch out for.
You’re losing focus
A person or employee who is in a state of burnout finds it difficult to stay focused on the task at hand. They find it hard to concentrate and are usually feeling overwhelmed with the workload and job pressure from the boss and from themselves.
You feel exhausted
Exhaustion is one of the most obvious signs of job burnout. And being exhausted is not limited to being physically tired. It can also be related to the feeling of being mentally and emotionally drained. When you feel like you don’t have energy left to do anything at all anymore, you might want to consider taking a break as this might already be a serious sign of burnout.
You don’t feel motivated anymore
Are there times when you ask yourself why you’re still in that same workplace, doing the same job and reporting for the same boss? If you do and can’t seem to find the answer, chances are you might be experiencing a job burnout. This is also true when you don’t feel excited about going to work anymore that the thought of it every waking moment makes you sick and you don’t have a choice but to drag your feet to get up.
You begin to feel all the negative emotions
Another evident sign of job burnout is when you feel all the negative emotions taking over you. It’s when you don’t see the positive side of things anymore when it comes to work and all you can think of are the frustrations, the workload, stress and pressure. There is no happiness at what you do. The enthusiasm, excitement and joy are all gone.
You dread Mondays
While almost all working employees dread Monday, your Sunday blues are even more extreme. It’s not just the feeling of not wanting the weekend to end but it’s feeling some sort of fear or panic that weekdays are going to start again and you’re coming back to work the next day.
To all serious job seekers:
Those who are involved in a job search can become very frustrated with the process, since identifying companies who are in a hiring mode is quite challenging. Typical “job fairs” involve long lines of other job seekers who may or may not be qualified for the jobs available, but still slow the process for those who are qualified.
Companies who are in hiring mode can also be frustrated, as the recruitment, screening and interviewing process can be time consuming and costly. That’s where My Interview Advantage comes in!
My Interview Advantage has organized a Career Path Expo to be held on December 5, 2014 on the campus of Indiana Tech in Munster, IN. This event is designed to match PRE-QUALIFIED candidates with companies who are either in hiring mode or will be hiring very soon.
Job seekers who register for the event and will have their qualifications matched with the employers who have committed to participating in the Expo. The number of applicants will be capped at 100, thereby eliminating the frustration of standing in long lines and, many times, not seeing an employer for more than a few seconds (if at all).
Applicants who are pre-qualified to meet with specific companies will be granted a minimum of a five (5) minute interview on the day of the Expo. Should a positive impression be made, arrangements can be made between the applicant and employer to schedule a more thorough interview.
Prior to meeting with employers, applicants will attend a one hour workshop in which topics such as Personal Branding, Behavioral Styles and Question Answering Techniques will be reviewed. This workshop will position the applicant to be poised for greater success once in front of the employer.
This opportunity is available to the serious job seeker for a one-time fee of $19. Further details available at www.myinterviewadvantage.com
Have you ever said something in an interview that got you into trouble?
Maybe you didn’t even realize you said something wrong. Yet, suddenly, your interviewer seems a lot less interested in you, maybe even unhappy.
And, it looks like whatever you said, your chances at this job just went down the drain.
Well, even if you were just worried about that happening, here is a sample of the most common mistakes that you should absolutely avoid in your next interview:
(Note: If you don’t want these tips or others, you can Click Here to Unsubscribe)
Mistake 1. Length
The perfect interview answer should last between 20 seconds and two minutes.
That means, you should basically never answer a question with a simple yes or no. You need to share the critical details and should provide a thorough answer as required.
But you don’t want to tell your life story. When you feel like you’ve shared the highlights, cut yourself off.
If you feel compelled to share more, you can offer the information, “If you’d like I can also describe…” but don’t be surprised if the interviewer turns you down.
Too long an answer, and the interview will just tune you out.
Not to worry.
If you’ve crafted your answers the right way, these time constraints are very manageable.
Mistake 2. Not answering the interview question.
Now, some people think they are politicians and “cleverly” avoid giving a straight answer (sleazy). More often, you may just be a bit confused about what the interviewer is asking.
If you aren’t 100% sure, ask for clarification. Repeat the question back in your own words.
And, if you still don’t know whether you answered the question, at the end of your response, say to the interviewer:
“I’m not sure whether my answer fully answered your question. Was there a piece of it, I left off?”
Note: The best job seekers also know the interviewer’s goal in asking a question.
They answer both the question asked and the interviewer’s unsaid concern. This comes from their preparing the right way for the interview.
Mistake 3. Speaking before thinking
You will likely face an interview question that you’re not ready for. Whether you sink or swim, depends on how you respond.
First, get your feet under you. Otherwise, you may use lots of “Ums” and “Likes.” And, your answer may lack direction or miss the question entirely.
Pause. Take a breath. If you want, say, “That’s a really good question, let me take a few moments to gather my thoughts.” If you’re still not sure how to tackle it, break it down into pieces.
Start by answering what you feel most confident about and go from there.
Mistake 4. Providing generic answers.
A good answer gives vivid examples. An okay answer at least references yourself and the organization.
A generic answer sounds like you had a list of canned responses, played Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and pulled out wherever your finger landed. Generic answers include, “I’m a team player,” or “I’m really excited about the work you do here.”
To avoid this mistake, you just need to prepare the right way. Gather the key facts about the organization and craft answers that describe yourself effectively.
Mistake 5: Not creating a conversation
An interview is in large part about establishing a relationship between you and your interviewers. That means you need to feel confident enough to be yourself and ask questions.
If it seems like they’re just shooting questions at you on the hot seat, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
So, when you have a question pop up during the conversation, ask it.
If they ask you, “what’s the most challenging project you faced?” at the end of your answer, you can follow up with, “what are the kinds of challenges that people here encounter?”
A good interview splits the air time 50/50 between the interviewer and the interviewee.
There are some questions for you to ask that are highly effective for the beginning of your interview. Others that are better for the end. They aren’t covered here, though are inside the Interview Success Formula™ program.
This program also covers the information you need to get inside the interviewer’s head, so you can deliver answers that get at what the interviewer really wants to know.
And it will help you articulate your best qualities and stories, so you don’t have to worry about delivering generic answers.
Learn more about how this program can benefit you.
You’ll get more info and understand job interviews better.
To Your Success,
P.S. These mistakes are definitely worth avoiding. Please take note of them, and respond accordingly.
P.P.S. More helpful tips will be coming tomorrow too.
Want even more detailed advice starting today? Come check out our online training program by clicking here.
Here’s what other folks have had to say about Interview Success Formula:
“IT has been infinitely helpful, I love the way it goes step by step, section by section. The questions are challenging and realistic, as well as flexible to be used for nearly any job type.”
Carol Smith, Denver, Colorado, Facilities Director
“I did have an interview, I was well prepared and was able to articulate my skills and what I would bring to the company. Being prepared helped me give quick and confident answers.
This program is a great value for the information and confidence it provided. I’ll use it for several years if needed.”
Michael Shaheen, Milford, Connecticut Aerospace Procurement Manager
“I had a series of 4 interviews with 7 different people. ISF was a life saver for me. I felt as prepared as I could possibly be by investing in this program. I can’t thank you enough!
I have strongly recommended your program to friends who are considering a career change. It was the best investment I could have made as I made my life-altering career change.”
Carol Stolp, Omaha, Nebraska, North America Operations Coordinator for Non Medical Senior Care
“I haven’t interviewed in 13 years, so the entire prospect of going through it seemed quite daunting. I have only had the phone interview thus far, but it went remarkably well. I felt much more confident because I felt that I was prepared. I actually enjoyed it!”
Gail D, Chicago, Illinois
“The interview went well since I felt very prepared after researching and completing all the necessary steps to land a job. As a result, I landed the job! Most memorable moments of the interview was that I brought value, communicated effectively my accomplishments, passion, and a sense of confidence that the interviewers could see.”
“My interview went great and I was the chosen one to take on the new responsibilities. My memorable moments were around my weak points and when I was done answering, I was told ‘ that was a good answer’. I am so happy that I came across this product by accident. I finally achieved some thing that I was dreaming about it for years. Thank You!”
Tabriz Tabrizli, San Francisco, California, High Tech
“A few hours after my interview I was talking to one of the interviewers who sat on the 5 person panel. She made the comment to me that a few of the other interviewers wondered if I had somehow recieved the interview questions before hand. Thats how well the system works. Again I had less than 24 hours to prepare. The questionaire I filled out really helped me to share personal expirences with the panel and I think I really connected with them with my stories. When we finished most of them made comments about something I had said during the interview.”
K. Davis, Nevada, Power Generation
“My interview was yesterday, and though I don’t yet know if I actually got the job (they were interviewing 70 applicants total, with 2 more days to go) I KNOW that without the program I would not have been equipped to answer all 9 questions asked of me!“
“The knowledge I received from Success Formula was not too little and not too much. The Formula fit me perfectly as I followed all your instructions for Success. Thank You! Your Success Formula was worth eveything!”
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I got the job! and again, she did ask me a lot of questions that you had prepared me for. I will most certainly recommend your services to others who may be looking for employemnt. Thank YOU!!!
Nearly 80% of employers do an online search for potential candidates. What will they learn about you?
You always dress the part in live interviews. Let’s make sure your online presence matches up. And, puts your best foot forward.
The place to start is with LinkedIn.
This tool offers you individual sections to highlight past accomplishments. It provides employers with a secondary source to verify your skills and identity after your paper resume.
And it gives you more:
It enables you to list verifiable recommendations from past work colleagues.
It allows your peers to endorse you for certain skills.
It helps you link to outside resources like papers you’ve published and presentations you’ve given,.
It can show that you are connected to leaders and insiders in the space.
It can show you are part of associations and groups that focus on topics these employers care about.
Plus it enables you to create a profile of skills and experiences on that website that 97% of recruiters use to find job candidates.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, take just a couple of hours to create one. Setting up a basic profile can be done fast. You sign up, enter information about yourself from your resume, and post a professional looking picture.
From there, start reaching out to family, friends and past coworkers so you have a full and active network of connections.
Now, you’ve created a basic profile that at least covers the basics. You’ve set up a jumping off point to build relationships.
This profile can help you not just land jobs. It can help you learn about coworkers, build relationships with potential clients and partners and capture value in a number of other ways.
In the coming days, you’ll learn more about how to polish this profile up so you stand out from the crowd and how you can use social media to proactively help you land jobs.
To your success,
Whether it’s a phone screen, the final round, or another type of interview, make sure you adapt. Learn how. Here are 8 types of interviews to look out for.
In this article, I will define these for you, help you understand what to expect in each, and make your presentation sharper with valuable tips.
The Telephone Screening
This is the preliminary interview. Your telephone screen will enable an employer to quickly identify whether you meet basic criteria. Often, these interviews are run by human resources.
This screeing can focus on your motivations and resume, and your understanding of the job and organization. You probably have less than thirty minutes to prove your case.
Phone Screening Tip:
Before this interview, make sure you can articulate the key experiences and skills on your resume that make you a good fit for this job. Have your resume in front of you for this open-book test. (Find out other situations where you will experience a phone interview.)
The Live Screening
Like the phone screen, this is an initial interview to evaluate your professional style and the accuracy of your resume. This interview is again often run by human resources or someone besides the final decision maker.
There is a critical exception. Occasionally, these live screens turn into a final multi-round interview: “Oh, while you’re here, let me introduce you to…”
Live Screening Tip:
Because of this potential surprise, you’ll have to be ready with the full gamut of preparation. Otherwise, you may end up in a meeting with the decision maker and be caught off guard. Even if you end up over prepared, your work will help you in a later selection interview.
The selection interview is the real deal. You’ll likely be meeting with several different types of people including the hiring manager, prospective team members, and a representative from human resources or management. Expect in-depth questions on your job qualifications and for this interview to last up to several hours.
In this interview, you will not only be judged by the quality of your answers. You will also be evaluated based on your ability to work well with other team members. Make sure you have powerful examples to prove your skills and establish rapport with everyone by being friendly, asking questions, and showing some personality.
Work Sample Interview
For these interviews, you will be asked to demonstrate specific job skills. In design fields, journalism and a few others, will share your portfolio of past work. In other, more business focused fields, you may be given a sample case then be given some time to prepare, and give a presentation of your related work.
Work Sample Tip:
Review your portfolio to make sure that it’s up to date. Practice presenting material until it runs smoothly. If you can, ask others in the field for feedback before the real event.
Peer Group Interview
In this more informal meeting, your potential peers want to evaluate how well you fit in. This interview may be held at the conference room, at a cocktail reception for potential candidates or at the lunch table.
Peer Group Tip:
Turn on your best charm without being phony. Smile and show enthusiasm. Talk about things that get you excited. Ask questions. Seek out similar interests between you and your interviewers. Do your best to remember individual names and use those names over the course of the conversation.
The Panel (or Group) Interview:
In a panel interview, three or more people will ask you questions on your qualifications and evaluate how you fit in. This is sometimes called a group interview, though group interviews may also mean multiple candidates in the same room at the same time. If you aren’t sure which one you will face, just ask.
These interviews are not that different from the others you experienced.
Direct each answer to the person who asked that question, but try to maintain eye contact with all group members. Also, ask questions of the various group members. Be sure to send each of them a separate thank you note -so ask for individual business cards. (Get more advice on the panel interview.)
The Stress Interview
No your interview is not always so mean. That person is intentionally asking you questions that make you uncomfortable. The purpose of this interview is test of how you will handle stress on the job. These interviews are more common for high pressure jobs with pushy clients.
Stress Interview Tip:
Don’t take anything personally. Recognize that you are just being tested. Maintain your calm and take your time answering questions. (Learn more about preparing for stress interviews.)
To reduce the costs of travel, many organizations have started using video interviews. While some will use an automated virtual interviewer, more often these interviews are hosted by a live person seated on the far side of a webcam. They are sometimes used as a replacement for both the screening interview and the final selection interview.
It may feel a little uncomfortable for you to speak with a webcam. Do a couple practice runs so that you realize how the experience is different from a live interview. For instance nearly any hand gestures can be distracting, and if you look at the person on screen instead of looking at the camera, you won’t make eye contact. (Get more insights on preparing for virtual job interviews.)
Which of these interview types will you face?
The type of interview you will encounter does not have to be a mystery. During the scheduling process, simply ask the coordinator what type of interview you can expect. That way, you focus your preparation accordingly.
To your success,
Interview Success Formula